Syracuse, named the No. 1 overall seed in the 2013 NCAA tournament, will open against Bryant on Sunday night at the Carrier Dome.
IN SYRACUSE’S LAST GAME: Syracuse won its second consecutive Big East Championship with a convincing 13-9 victory over Villanova on Saturday. Following a first half in which ‘Nova only trailed 8-5 because it won the faceoff battle (9-5), the third quarter belonged to the Orange as they ran past the ‘Cats to go up 11-6 entering the final period. As in the regular season meeting, Villanova slowly crept back in it, taking advantage of winning faceoffs and getting SU in man-down situations to pull within two at 11-9. But Dylan Donahue’s goal with 6:47 left made it 12-9, SU then added one late goal and held off VU’s final flurry.
IN BRYANT’S LAST GAME: Bryant captured an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by defeating Robert Morris, 14-7, to capture the NEC title. Bryant scored six unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, and Tournament MVP Peter McMahon notched his third-straight hat trick in the win. The Bullsdogs jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never trailed, as Kevin Massa went 21-for-25 at the faceoff X. Bryant also outshot Robert Morris 44-25, and picked up 59 groundballs to RMU’s 26.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Massa was the conference Player of the Year after leading the nation in faceoff winning percentage (.713, 293-411), which has been a problem for Syracuse all season. Massa also set an NCAA single-season record with 223 ground balls in 2013. Also, look out for midfielder Colin Dunster, who led Bryant with 31 goals and 14 assists.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: This will be the first time the schools have faced each other.
GAME INFORMATION: Sunday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPNU.